Takeaway delivery platform Just Eat has announced plans to create more than 1,000 customer service roles at its new office near Sunderland.
The company, which is part of the Amsterdam-based Just Eat Takeaway group, is bringing work in-house that was previously outsourced to third party operators in Bulgaria and the Philippines.
It said it had already created 300 of the 1,500 roles at the office in Houghton-le-Spring that was previously used by now-defunct energy supplier Npower.
Just Eat said employees would initially work from home and it planned to operate a hybrid model – involving a mixture of office and home working – over coming months, with an on-site gym among facilities on offer.
The jobs announcement was hailed by business minister Paul Scully as a boost to the government’s ambition to “level up the whole of the UK”.
It is part of a £100m investment in the region by Just Eat over the next five years, the company said.
Just Eat currently employs around 2,000 people – excluding couriers – in the UK and the 1,500 at the Houghton-le-Spring site are in addition to this.
The new roles are being taken on to deal with its 58,000 UK restaurant partners as well as millions of takeaway customers.
Jobs on offer will range from customer service advisors to team leaders, specialist support roles and management, Just Eat said.
UK managing director Andrew Kenny said: “We’re delighted to be creating upwards of a thousand new employment opportunities in our customer care department over the next 12 months.
“This move will help us to bring the very best service to our customers and restaurant partners as demand for food delivery goes from strength to strength in the UK.”
The move comes after Just Eat separately began rolling out a new worker model for its couriers last year, which entitles them to rights such as the minimum wage, pension contributions, statutory pay and sick pay.
More than 4,500 are now employed in this way in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Brighton and Cambridge, rather than the usual gig economy model of being treated as self-employed contractors.
The announcement comes after Just Eat last week reported a rise in UK orders by 58 million in the first half of the year although a marketing splurge to boost its growth – which included a Euro 2020 tie-up – drove it to a loss.